Two utilities companies are letting their customers decide what kind of power they’d like to use, reports the New York Times.
In November, Germany-based R.W.E. introduced what it calls a “zero-carbon energy purchasing” plan, which allows its customers to specify electricity supplied mainly from it nuclear operations.
With the plan, customers are promised that nearly 70 percent of their electricity will come from nuclear power. (The remainder would be derived from other low-carbon sources like hydroelectricity and renewable energies.)
R.W.I. could face political opposition as parts of Germany maintain an anti-nuclear stance and the country has pledged to phase out nuclear power over the next decade. Concerns about CO2 from coal-fired stations still could lead to an official reversal of that policy, however.
In Scandanavia, where nuclear power is more accepted, Fortum is responding to demand from large business customers in Sweden and Finland that want to purchase CO2-free electricity by selling electricity under two labels: Fortum Carbon Free, a mix of mainly nuclear and hydroelectricity, and Fortum Renewable, power generated from renewable sources of energy.
Last year Fortum was named to the Corporate Knights Inc. and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors 2008 list of the 100 most sustainable corporations.